Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Well, I did it

God help me, I just hit send on my first query to a real literary agent! I sent the query and the first five pages of the manuscript (i.e., the entire prologue) to a very well known agent who is famous (infamous?) for rejecting almost everything she gets.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Granted, I fully expect to be rejected. And that's probably why I chose her, to get that first NO out of the way. Once the initial sting of rejection passes (and provided my wife can get my nearly dead body cut down before I really suffocate), I can then continue on with my edits and start querying in earnest.

But I've felt ready this week to stick my toe in the waters. So, I have.

I talked to Staley a few minutes ago (Staley, you might remember, is my awesome book editor) and she said to go for it. Of course, there's much left to do on the manuscript, mainly cutting some of the excess verbiage and tightening some character stuff. But even if the agent in question asks for a few more additional pages (ha! like that will happen), I'd feel confident providing them.

I think.

I'll update when the first rejection comes in. It's almost a rite of passage among new authors. Some even print the email out and frame it. Me? I'll probably delete the damned thing.

I don't generally handle rejection well. So I might as well start getting used to it.
UPDATE: Holy crap! I just checked the emailed query I sent earlier today to an agent and IT HAS A MASSIVE SCREW-UP IN IT! Okay, not massive. But pretty bad. I was changing around the personal stuff at the bottom (you know, where you kiss their butt!) and inadvertently cut off a sentence!!! This to a literary agent who's known to look for reasons to reject people.
Foot, meet bullet. Bullet, meet foot.


  1. Rejection always stings, but one thing I always think about when someone rejects something of mine: The Beatles were turned down by every major recording label in London before George Martin signed them to Capital. One record executive even told Brian Espstein that he should tell them they would never make it, so they could get real jobs while they were young! I always try to listen to criticism and rejection, but the bottom line is stay true to your gut feeling and keep plugging along. Good luck, Terry, and thanks for letting us all share in this ride with you!

  2. Yeah, dad! As they say: Keep on keepin' on. Whoever "they" may be...

  3. Ya threw yer hat over the fence!
    I think that's just awesome Terry.
    It's inspiring.

  4. Thanks guys. I was feeling pretty good until I saw the screw-up. Oh well. Now, when she rejects me, I can just tell myself: "If only I hadn't made that typo ..."

    I'll get 'em next time.